Alternate headline: “Pope to skip Easter mass.”

Berlingkse Media, a Danish group coordinating ticket sales and publicity for the event, said that “great annoyance” was a factor in the cancellation, along with unforeseen changes in Mr. Gore’s program for the climate summit. The decision affected 3,000 ticket holders.

“We have had a clear-cut agreement, and it is unusual with great disappointment that we have to announce that Al Gore cancels. We had a huge expectation for the event. . . . We do not yet know the detailed reasons for the cancellation,” said Lisbeth Knudsen, CEO of Berlingske Media, in a statement posted by the company.

The ClimateDepot,com, an online news aggregator that tracks global-warming news reports, referred to the situation as “Nopenhagen,” and evidence that popular momentum for the Copenhagen conference “is fading.”

A fun story, but people are trying too hard to spin it as evidence that the Goracle’s lying low in light of Climategate. For one thing, I haven’t seen any report that he’s skipping the entire summit and its many, many photo ops. He’s skipping just this event. In fact, he may have dropped it in favor of a more high-profile gig:

Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider says the decision was made because of “all the events going on with the summit.” Dec. 16 is a key date for the meeting because that’s when the ministerial segment starts.

Beyond that, a guy who won a Peace Prize for becoming the high priest of this church simply isn’t going to turn on it this easily. The East Anglia boys will dump global warming — and each other, which they’re already doing — before Gore does. Nor do I think he’s ducking the lecture because he’s afraid to face questions about Climategate. Why should he be? He’s already got two pre-packaged “rebuttal” arguments to choose from, the savvy and the schmucky. Just today the UK’s climate secretary went the latter route by warning people not to be distracted from the crisis by skeptic “saboteurs.” That spin will be plenty good enough for a roomful of true believers, I’m sure. Exit question: Hotter ticket at Copenhagen, The One or Pope Al?